Glass plate negatives and prints of historic events of Siamese kings win place in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Registry 2017

Photographic negatives filming historic events dated back to over 160 years during the reigns of King Chulalongkorn and King Vajiravudh have now won place in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Registry 2017.

UNESCO recognised these photographic glass plate negatives for inclusion in it’s international Memory of the World project after Thailand submitted its documentary heritage for inclusion in the Memory of the World Registry 2017.

Photo: Culture Ministry

According to Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanaratna, UNESCO has included 35,427 glass plate negatives and 50,000 prints in the Memory of the World Registry 2017.

These royal collection of photographic glass plate negatives and prints are historical evidence which features social, cultural, political changes and foreign relations activities of Siam, and its relations with the world during a long continuous period from 1855-1935.

Photo: Culture Ministry

The Royal ollection depicts national and international important personalities, places, and events, from the age of western colonization in Asia which prompted Siam to examine its national identity and to reform its society, — through the years of the First World War when Siam sided with the Allies and shared the victory, and the aftermath of the war including the worldwide political, social and cultural changes — affecting Siam and leading to the dawn of its constitutional monarchy.

In 1977, they were given into the care of National Archive in Bangkok.

Photo: Culture Ministry

Currently, 24,800 plates have been scanned for digital use, and 4,149 plates have been included in the National database.

He said UNESCO has earlier included four documentary heritage for inclusion after Thailand submitted them for world’s recognition.

They are ;

– The King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription, Year of inscription: 2003

– Archival Documents of King Chulalongkorn’s Transformation of Siam (1868-1910), Year of inscription: 2009

– Epigraphic Archives of Wat Pho, Year of inscription: 2011

– “The Minute Books of the Council of the Siam Society”, 100 years of recording international cooperation in research and the dissemination of knowledge in the arts and sciences, Year of inscription: 2013